Mystic Who Helped Inspire "The Passion" to Be Beatified in October

Date Set for Anna Katharina Emmerick, as Well as Karl I of Austria

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The German mystic whose recorded visions helped inspire "The Passion of the Christ" will be beatified Oct. 3.



Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824) will be beatified at the Vatican along with Karl I (1887-1922), emperor of Austria and king of Hungary.

The Vatican Secretariat of State communicated the news of Emmerick's beatification to the Muenster Diocese.

Emmerick, an Augustinian religious and a native of Westphalia, "bore the stigmata of the Lord's Passion and received extraordinary charisms that she used for the consolation of numerous visitors," said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, when reading the decree of recognition of a miracle last July.

Beginning in 1813, illness kept the religious confined. From then on, she was nourished only by the Eucharist. During her last years, she lived day by day the preaching and passion of Jesus.

Forced to leave her convent by the Napoleonic invasion, the invalid and stigmatic tried to describe in her Low German dialect the daily visions of the supernatural. Clemens Brentano, a notable German writer, met her, was converted, and remained at the foot of her bed copying the visionary's accounts from 1818 to 1824.

The result was the book "The Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." That work, in addition to the Gospels, helped inspire Mel Gibson in the making of "The Passion of the Christ." The film had taken in $603 million at the box office as of May 23.

The Diocese of Vienna announced that on Oct. 3 the Pope also will beatify Karl I von Habsburg, last emperor of Austria and king of Hungary.

Proclaimed emperor of Austria in 1916, Karl I abdicated in November 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire fell. He left Austria in March 1919 and was formally dismissed by the Austrian Parliament in April. He spent his exile on the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he died at 34.